At 10:18 On 10/18, Angelenos Got Under Their Desks. Here's Why

(File photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

It's that time of year again, when school kids, firefighters and city leaders across California drop down, crawl under a table and hold on for dear life. It's all part of an organized statewide earthquake drill known as The Great ShakeOut.

The idea is to practice what you should do when the next temblor arrives — and it will. Three simple steps:

  • Drop onto your hands and knees. You'll avoid getting knocked down and can crawl to shelter.
  • Cover your head and neck with one arm. Get under a table or desk or get near an interior wall. Avoid windows.
  • Hold on until the shaking stops.

Another tip: DO NOT RUN. Broken legs and twisted ankles are much more likely if you run when a quake hits.

The drill is designed to increase your chances of surviving the immediate dangers of an earthquake. But what are you supposed to do in the days and weeks after, when access to clean water is limited and fires rage throughout the region? We're so glad you asked.

In January, KPCC will release the 9-episode podcast The Big One: Your Survival Guide. Science reporter Jacob Margolis and producer Misha Euceph take you on a full-on Dungeons and Dragons-style walk through of the hours, days and weeks after a 7.8 quake hits along the Southern San Andreas fault.

Meanwhile: you can stop, drop and follow them on Twitter @JacobMargolis and @MishaEuceph to keep up with their earthquake reporting.


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